Fluorinert

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Fluorinert is the trademarked brand name for the line of electronics coolant liquids sold commercially by 3M. It is an electrically insulating, stable fluorocarbon-based fluid, which is used in various cooling applications. It is mainly used for cooling electronics. Different molecular formulations are available with a variety of boiling points, allowing it to be used in "single-phase" applications, where it remains a liquid, or for "two-phase" applications, where the liquid boils to remove additional heat by evaporative cooling. An example of one of the compounds 3M uses is FC-72 (perfluorohexane, C6F14). Perfluorohexane is used for low-temperature heat-transfer applications due to its 56 °C (133 °F) boiling point. Another example is FC-75, perfluoro(2-butyl-tetrahydrofurane). There are 3M fluids that can handle up to 215 °C (419 °F), such as FC-70 (perfluorotripentylamine).[1]

Fluorinert is used in situations where air cannot carry away enough heat, or where airflow is so restricted that some sort of forced pumping is required.

Toxicity[edit]

Fluorinert may be harmful if inhaled, and care should be taken to avoid contact with eyes and skin. No health effects are expected by ingestion of Fluorinert, however.[2] Use should be constrained to closed systems and reduced volumes, as fluorinated oils have a very high global-warming potential and a long atmospheric lifetime.[3]

Although Fluorinert was intended to be inert, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory discovered that the liquid cooling system of their Cray-2 supercomputers could decompose during extended service to release highly toxic perfluoroisobutylene.[4] Catalytic scrubbers were installed to remove this contaminant.

The science-fiction film The Abyss (1989) depicted an experimental liquid-breathing system, in which the use of highly oxygenated Fluorinert enabled a diver to descend to great depths. While several rats were shown actually breathing Fluorinert, scenes depicting actor Ed Harris using the fluid-breathing apparatus were simulated.[5] This scene was removed in the United Kingdom, as it was seen as animal cruelty.[citation needed]

Global Warming Potential[edit]

Fluorinert absorbs UV wavelengths readily and has a long atmospheric lifetime. As such it has a very high global warming potential ("GWP") of 9,000.[6] As such, it should be carefully managed and used in closed systems only so as to minimize emissions.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "3M Manufacturing and Industry: 3M Fluorinert Electronic Liquids".  090519 products3.3m.com
  2. ^ "Material safety data sheet FC-40 fluorinert brand electronic liquid 03/25/09".  090519 multimedia.3m.com
  3. ^ "Fluorinert FC70 Product Information" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Kwan, J. Kelly, R, Miller G. Presentation at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, May 1991
  5. ^ ALJEAN HARMETZ; FILM; 'The Abyss': A Foray Into Deep Waters - The New York Times
  6. ^ Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation. "Report EPA-430-R-06-90 : Uses and Emissions of Liquid PFC Heat Transfer Fluids from the Electronics Sector" (PDF). WWW.EPA.GOV. 

External links[edit]